City Of Miami Wants To Develop Thousands Of Affordable Housing Units By 2024

May 12, 2019

It is expensive to live in South Florida. People pay a lot for housing while wages are relatively low.

The latest research by the city of Miami and Miami Homes for All finds about 60 percent of renters are cost-burdened, which means they pay more than 30 percent of income for housing expenses.

The Miami report includes some solutions to reach the goal of creating or preserving 12,000 units of affordable housing by 2024.

A separate study published earlier this year found over half of all households in Broward County were cost-burdened.

Meanwhile, the Florida legislature passed a bill last week that would restrict the ability of local governments to make affordable housing policy.

On the South Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson and WLRN reporter Nadege Green spoke with Alfredo Duran, deputy director for the city of Miami's Department of Housing and Community Development; Annie Lord, executive director of Miami Homes for All; and Ned Murray, associate director of  FIU's Metropolitan Center.

Here's an excerpt of their conversation:

WLRN: Increasing the number of affordable rental units – how do you go about doing that in a market environment which has put a premium on land and means that the developers need to extract as much value as possible out of that land if they're building for residential use?

ANNIE LORD: The good news is that thanks to research by University of Miami recently we know a lot more about the vacant and publicly owned land in Miami-Dade. There's quite a bit of it. So we think that that land is potentially a major source of solutions for our affordability.

We are still conducting analysis on that land, but we think that that land is probably really conducive to smaller apartments, for either rent or to be owned, that are really organic to most of the neighborhoods we're all familiar with.

Is undeveloped land part of that solution to create brand new affordable housing? Is that land available in city?

ALFREDO DURAN: Absolutely, you don't have the land, you can't build. And not only, we're actually looking at the information that the University of Miami put together as far as those available sites, and our planning department is looking at those sites that are co-owned, or are owned by the county and the city, and they're buildable actually and they have active zoning, how we can assemble and work together in partnerships so that the city and the county can work together we work in partnerships so that the city and the county can work together.